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The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, December 11, 1914, LAST EDITION, Image 8

Image and text provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1914-12-11/ed-1/seq-8/

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RADICAL REFORM LAWS URGED
AT WOMEN'S CONGRESS'
Proposed legislation on different
subjects was discussed yesterday at
the first exclusive women's legislative
congress in the history of the state.
Subjects covered were wife aban
donment, a measure for better sup
port of wife and children; measure
for proper support of illegitimate chil
dren; abatement and injunction act
tor abolition or nouses or prostitu
tion; measure for abolition of fining
system in dealing with prostitutes;
state care of feeble-minded, and eu
genics. Over seven hundred women packed
the Florentine room of the Congress
hotel at the meeting, which was
opened by an address by Lieut. Gov.
Barratt O'Haar, chairman of the sen
ate welfare commission. He pleaded
for sane measures as the only ones
which would stand a chance down at
Springfield.
At the afternoon session discussion
became heated over the proposed eu
genic law, which is a stringent one,
making any person contracting a
marriage where disease of either
party is known to exist, or aiding and
abetting such a marriage punishable
by a $1,000 fine or not more than five
years in the penitentiary.
Several women protected that the
bill was degrading and degenerating.
Miss Eleanor Douglas Flood declared
it broke down all the ideals of society
and was.debasing and degrading and
lowering the standard we have main
tained. She declared such a law
should be made for the married per
sons as the unmarried was not dis
eased. Mrs. Stella Janotta, chairman of
the session,, declared that 80 per cent
of Chicagoans are diseased.
In discussing the fining of prosti
tutes George L. Reker, assistant cor
poration counsel, said:
"The persent system of fining sim
ply means that a man known by a
name 'too vile to xepeat to you pays
fowes her freedom to him and sho
goes out and works for him. If she
is arrested at night professional
bondsmen who haunt the police sta
tion get her out and she feels that
the professional bondsman is her
friend and that the judge arid those
in the morals court are against her
and we are unable to do anything for
her.
"We propose a measure which will
abolish the fining system and enable
the court to sentence these women to
a year in some institution where they
may be given treatment they need
and some training to enable them to
earn their livelihood in another way."
Mr. Reker explained the impossi
bility of passing a bill through the
legislature that would impose a sim
ilar penalty on the man found with
the girl.
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Maid "The hair dresser called
with her bill and I told her you were
out." S
Madam "What did she say?"
Maid ."She said it was beginning
to look as if she was going to be out.
too.".
the fine and the girl feels that she 1
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